Southwestern New Mexico: Places to Explore

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Truth or Consequences

Yes, Truth or Consequences really did get its name from the game show of the same name. The show's producer, Ralph Edwards, suggested that a town adopt the name to honor the production's 10th anniversary in 1950. The community, which had been known as Hot Springs, accepted the challenge, earning national publicity for the stunt. A portion of the community rebelled, though, withdrawing from T or C (as the town is frequently called) and incorporating as Williamsburg. T or C's name is a favorite point of contention for some of the old-school residents.

Centuries ago the area's earliest inhabitants came here for relaxation and the waters' healing properties—hot water being a universally enjoyed healing method. In the 1930s bathhouses tapping into the soothing mineral waters were established near the Downtown district. This area, with street after street of neat old buildings, some covered in art deco tiling, struggles economically despite the draw of the springs—with many shops out of business or boarded up. Despite this, there is a casual, friendly vibe among the people here that leaves you rooting for the little town. There is much hope among locals that the developing Spaceport will bring needed revenue and business to the area.

T or C bills itself as the "most affordable spa town in America" and about a half-dozen spas (which, though charming, compared with the luxury resort spas of Santa Fe or Scottsdale, some might consider rustic) operate at prices that are quite reasonable compared to those in other parts of the Southwest. Facilities, even in the most affordable establishments, are very clean and many offer therapeutic treatments like massage, Reiki, and reflexology. There is a small group of resorts and restaurants especially notable for the style and quality they bring to a town where amenities tend toward the modest, to say the least. Their proprietors' dedication to raising the standard and visibility of the town is commendable and their establishments make T or C a more interesting, and tasty, destination.

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